Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 44
  1. Top - End - #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    After a recent Civ 5 binge that left me both (A) incapable of stopping playing until 4 in the morning and (B) with the dawning realisation I was not having fun anymore, I realised that in the process of catering to the demands of MP balancing, the series had departed from even the faintest effort at historical plausibility. I can sympathise with trying to make the game more accessible for casual/social gamers, but I also have a hard time swallowing tech prereqs like Trapping -> Civil Service -> Irrigation, which I'm pretty sure makes virtually no sense as far as verisimilitude goes. (The Anasazi managed to water their crops, and they didn't even have a writing system. How come I have to research Iron Working before I can build a Heroic Epic? Did the exploits of Gilgamesh have to immortalised with a million fountain pens?)

    Cultural victory also tends to feel like you've basically bludgeoned your opponent into submission by hoarding some magic mana-equivalent. I've been thinking that a more organic method of modeling cultural influence would be to have it propagated along lines of trade and migration, similarly to how technologies and religions used to spread along the silk road. (Actually, there's an interesting notion- what if all trade relations carried an automatic risk of your techs being stolen/adopted?)

    I get that the Civ series has never really been able to take itself completely seriously (what with stone age George Washington presiding unchallenged for millennia on end), such that calls for improved verisimilitude may be a tad misplaced. And I'd like to point to SMAC as being deadly earnest in tone and execution, but then you kinda have to ignore the psychic worms. And apparently need to invent cyborg brain-chips before getting to fly helicopters. I wonder if I'm maybe looking for some different game entirely.

    I can respect the attention to detail that goes into games like Crusader Kings and other historical grand strategy titles, but I'm also fond of the sweep and scope and sheer breadth of the Civ series. Suggestions? Comments? ...Howls of anguish?

  2. Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Winthur's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    After a recent Civ 5 binge that left me both (A) incapable of stopping playing until 4 in the morning and (B) with the dawning realisation I was not having fun anymore
    ...very understandable...

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    I realised that in the process of catering to the demands of MP balancing,
    *spits tea* What? Hahahahaha. Sorry, I haven't followed this game forever, but given what it went through since release I hardly think the development team even has a chance of scraping up any MP balance from this... "game".

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    the series had departed from even the faintest effort at historical plausibility. I can sympathise with trying to make the game more accessible for casual/social gamers, but I also have a hard time swallowing tech prereqs like Trapping -> Civil Service -> Irrigation, which I'm pretty sure makes virtually no sense as far as verisimilitude goes. (The Anasazi managed to water their crops, and they didn't even have a writing system. How come I have to research Iron Working before I can build a Heroic Epic? Did the exploits of Gilgamesh have to immortalised with a million fountain pens?)
    Why in other Civ games:
    • (CIV2) do you have to research Literacy after Writing? Can you write but not read?
    • (CIV2) does Polytheism enable War Elephants? I can sort of understand why Monotheism enables Crusaders, but I can't see the Poly->Elephants correlation.
    • (CIV in general) do Phalanx beat Tanks?
    • (CIV2) Why is The Wheel so useless that it's actually detrimental overall to research it due to the game mechanics?
    • (CIV in general) does it take an unit 40 years to move from square to square?
    • (CIV in general) are the citizen of a sprawling big city just as content with a machine gun nest militia in your city as they are with your 6000 years old Warrior unit?
    • (CIV5) Why is this game so bad?
    • (CIV3-4-5) Where are the talking heads advisors from CIV2?
    • (CIV4) What is the "Native American Empire"? There are Aztecs, Incans, and Mayans; do they not count? And why is their unique unit the Dog Soldier available since Bronze Working (3000 BC at the latest), yet it's actually emerged in, like, the 19th century?
    • (CIV4) No, I still don't buy how you can send a ship to Alpha Centauri without learning Flight.


    and so on.
    In general, I don't believe that the Civilization games were ever really supposed to really simulate building an actual empire. Especially once the metagame kicks in - it's a game, some moves are more profitable than other. Sure, you could go for historical accuracy but in many cases it has potential to be detrimental. There's no reason for Isabella of Spain to be forbidden from adopting Judaism, even if it causes her to isolate herself and her empire becoming a pariah to dogpile on. And honestly, the absolute masterpiece of Civilization scenarios, the Civ2 WWII scenario, would really suck if you couldn't become the ruler of the world as the Turks, the Neutrals, or as the French; I remember being severely disappointed with the Civ4 BTS scenario that won't let you survive German blitzkrieg or other scripted events at all if you're playing the "wrong" nation.

    And Cultural Victory is just a thinly-veiled way of building an empire that withstood the test of time which kind of is the point of the game. I mean, you can get wiped out and your culture will prevail, so you win. Romans won the Cultural Victory but it actually took them skill, I guess. Exegi monumentum aere perennius and stuff.

    Seeing as how I played every game in the series I kinda find each game a challenge that I want to beat on the highest possible difficulty. Civ just provides a nice background to it, makes stuff relatable and gives it a scale. Alpha Centauri has rich writing but for Civ you already have a ton of stuff to work with so all you have to do is put it together.

    Also, try out 1994's Sid Meier's Colonization.
    Last edited by Winthur; 2012-10-09 at 05:23 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Mordekaiser for president.

  3. Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    This is just one of many reason I consider Alpha Centauri (well, Alien Crossfire, really) to be the apogee of the Civ-type game. The tech tree isn't founded in historical fact, so it's easier to make interesting game design decisions, without being yoked to 'realism'. It also has, by far, the most interesting faction and government system of any game thus far. It also is mercifully unfettered by the horrible see-saw mechanics added in Civ IV to hobble human players enough to make the AI seem less inept by comparison.

  4. Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Cespenar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Seconding the awesome that are Colonization and Alpha Centauri. Really, they are better Civilizations than Civilizations.

    Also, searching for realism in many games would end up only in anger, confusion, or both.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2012-10-10 at 12:31 AM.
    PbP Game Statistics:
    Spoiler
    Show
    (Updated 19.07.13)
    Games Joined: 53
    Games Dead: 50
    Games Successfully Finished: 0
    Partially Finished/TPK'd: 1


  5. Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    This is just one of many reason I consider Alpha Centauri (well, Alien Crossfire, really) to be the apogee of the Civ-type game. The tech tree isn't founded in historical fact, so it's easier to make interesting game design decisions, without being yoked to 'realism'. It also has, by far, the most interesting faction and government system of any game thus far. It also is mercifully unfettered by the horrible see-saw mechanics added in Civ IV to hobble human players enough to make the AI seem less inept by comparison.
    Better BTS AI really helps with the AI problems tho. Too bad it doesn't quite cover everything the AI needs but still, its victory paths are much more clear.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    Tier System For Classes & Why Each Class Is In Its Tier - Obligatory Reads Before Balance Discussions

    My apologies if I leave a discussion unfinished. Feel free to PM me anything.

  6. Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecroRebel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    I recently learned of a SMAX mod for Civ 4: BtS called Planetfall and have found it to be incredibly awesome. If you copy the sound files from the SMAC, it's just as immersive, and with all of the gameplay improvements that came from a few generations of Civ games, it's basically even more fun than Alpha Centauri ever was Some people might want to check it out.

  7. Top - End - #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    This is just one of many reason I consider Alpha Centauri (well, Alien Crossfire, really) to be the apogee of the Civ-type game. The tech tree isn't founded in historical fact, so it's easier to make interesting game design decisions, without being yoked to 'realism'.
    The problem that I have with this design philosophy is that the tech progression often winds up becoming profoundly unintuitive. I mean, the last time I played Civ 5, I wanted to set out to create some kind of mercantile republic, and naturally assumed that making a beeline for techs like writing and currency would do the trick. But I found my progress being gradually hemmed in and stalled, because apparently, in order to research Economics I first have to learn about Chivalry (which is also needed to have peace treaties. 'Cos you're a knight in shining armour! Geddit! It's funny!)

    This sort of thing crops up in SMAC too. If I want to develop, e.g, space flight, I have to "collect em all" with respect to a lengthy sequence of tenuously related doctrines and economic advances, rather than something like, e.g, Organic Chemistry -> Synthetic Fuels -> Rocketry, plus Material Physics & Adaptive Simulation -> Aerodynamics, then mixing 'em together to get spaceplanes. I can follow what's happening there, and make plans accordingly, rather than intoning the correct arcane formula out of some strategy-guide-grimoire.

    Several of SMAC's key gameplay innovations are arguably interesting because they are more realistic than Civ II's. The idea of mixing and matching cultural, economic and political policies is very in-keeping with real-world observations of various modern nations, where we have both capitalist police-states and socialist democracies. The idea of mixing different weapon, chassis and armour types makes rather more sense to me than trying to shoehorn every type of soldier associated with a given tech level into a single category (which historically were often quite diverse.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    And honestly, the absolute masterpiece of Civilization scenarios, the Civ2 WWII scenario, would really suck if you couldn't become the ruler of the world as the Turks, the Neutrals, or as the French; I remember being severely disappointed with the Civ4 BTS scenario that won't let you survive German blitzkrieg or other scripted events at all if you're playing the "wrong" nation.
    To be honest, I always find this sort of thing reeks of ad-hoc 'fudging' of the mechanics, or the unthinking regurgitation of facts, rather than attempting to understand the underlying principles that govern the system. The basic idea behind a simulation is that you start off with certain assumptions about initial conditions and the rules of the system's behaviour, leave it run without interference, and if the eventual outputs don't match up with what you expected, this either indicates that you need to revise your assumptions, or that the system is not actually predictable. But pre-scripting the major outcomes doesn't really tell you anything new.

  8. Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Closet_Skeleton's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Ēast Seaxna rīc
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    At least the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria isn't available before other lighthouses anymore. But the Great Library is still somehow available the moment you get writing despite being built a mere 50 years before the later on the tech tree Terracotta Army and the Ming dynasty Great Wall of China can be built millennia before the Ming dynasty Forbidden Palace. Hagia Sophia (built 360 AD) is available at the same level as the 15th century Machu Pichu. The Hermitage (1764) is lower on the tech tree than . You can also build a Great Fire Wall before telecommunications.

    The 'colossium' pic shows an amphitheatre while the amphitheatre pic shows a theatre. That really annoys the guy who took classics at school in me.

    Inca Slingers being replaced by composite bowmen on the same tech you need for terrace farms is annoying.

    Stealth bombers are as hard to build as nuclear powered giant robots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    But I found my progress being gradually hemmed in and stalled, because apparently, in order to research Economics I first have to learn about Chivalry (which is also needed to have peace treaties. 'Cos you're a knight in shining armour! Geddit! It's funny!)
    Chivalry allows defensive pacts, not peace treaties (it would be really hard if you needed to wait 5000 years to work out how to make peace). Which does kind of make sense.

    Its banking that requires chivalry and the Knights Templar were pioneers in European banking. Banking is needed for economics, which is probably what you meant.

    I quite like playing new world nations and seeing how long I can go without inventing iron working. Usually up to the 15th century, which isn't too bad.

    Civ has a problem in general that its tech tree is based on Fertile Crescent and then European development and doesn't really work for America or China. The Holy Roman Empire (Germany/Italy) had a feudal period of knights and castles followed by a period of merchants and city states, so everyone has to invent knights and castles before banking.
    Last edited by Closet_Skeleton; 2012-10-10 at 08:16 AM.
    "that nighted, penguin-fringed abyss" - At The Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft

    When a man decides another's future behind his back, it is a conspiracy. When a god does it, it's destiny.


  9. Top - End - #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    *spits tea* What? Hahahahaha. Sorry, I haven't followed this game forever, but given what it went through since release I hardly think the development team even has a chance of scraping up any MP balance from this... "game".
    Well, I can't speak for how well they actually accomplished MP balance, but the official press statements before release seemed to indicate that was one of their priorities.

    I can kind of see it in the mechanics, too. One of the things that irritates me about Civ 5 is that the usefulness of gold/trade/taxes has been substantially curtailed, when I was very fond of rush-buying civic improvements and defensive units in earlier games (now you can either build, or purchase, but not both, and the buy prices seem fairly extortionate.) But the very fact that this tactic was so clearly advantageous made it something of a no-brainer from a tactical perspective, so it had to be sternly nerfed... from a tactical perspective.

    Conversely, they've added things like buying up territory with gold instead, which might be plausible *if* you were buying it from some other player, but isn't that what your culture rating was supposed to be for? I can buy culture now, but only for territory gains? ...what? It just feels incredibly tacked-on and artificial... from the perspective of verisimilitude. But tactically speaking, it's offering the player more ways to spend their gold, thereby introducing interesting cost/benefit evaluations to their planning. In theory.

    Again, I haven't actually played Civ 5 MP, so I couldn't comment on how well the pros and cons of various options and techs and structures have actually been balanced, but I can see that the effort was focused in that direction. (This is particularly clear in the case of Wonders, which have often struck me as monstrously unbalancing in earlier Civ games, but in Civ 5 seem to sport relatively tame benefits.)
    In general, I don't believe that the Civilization games were ever really supposed to really simulate building an actual empire. Especially once the metagame kicks in - it's a game, some moves are more profitable than other...
    Civ just provides a nice background to it, makes stuff relatable and gives it a scale. Alpha Centauri has rich writing but for Civ you already have a ton of stuff to work with so all you have to do is put it together.
    Oh, I'm aware that to a greater or lesser degree, these quibbles could be made of the series at every stage of it's development, but back in mid-90s I was much more willing to forgive these quirks, given that I was (A) less jaded, (B) the industry and the genre was still in it's relative infancy, and (C), I naively assumed that over time, would gently drift toward greater realism.

    I was right, in a way. SMAC was probably the most literal-minded installment of the series, and today I can really appreciate it for it's writing, the faction personalities, and the background story and setting. I love those things about it. But the actual gameplay is often entirely at odds with it's aesthetics and purported surface logic. (Blind Research, for example. Would make perfect sense in any other Civ game, makes no sense here (certainly not for early-game techs.) You already know how to make, e.g, Fusion Reactors, because that's how you got to Planet to begin with. Progenitor factions get directed research for exactly this reason. Why the double standard? In fact, there's a big question mark over what 'research' even means in this context.)

    And instead of grabbing on to that question and following it to it's logical conclusions- that you should be modelling tech progression primarily in the form of base infrastructure requirements and working resources, which is what the game explicitly tells you is really happening- they just cloned the basic assumptions of Civ II and applied them outside of their context. Things like arbitrarily delaying the invention of railroads, for heaven's sake, because having early-game fast land-transport would change the gameplay, and changing gameplay would be hard.
    And Cultural Victory is just a thinly-veiled way of building an empire that withstood the test of time which kind of is the point of the game. I mean, you can get wiped out and your culture will prevail, so you win. Romans won the Cultural Victory but it actually took them skill, I guess. Exegi monumentum aere perennius and stuff.
    Oh, I don't have a problem with the idea of 'softer victories'- if anything, I'd prefer to prevail through channels of dialogue and constructive social progress. My problem is with how artificial it feels- victory through conquest at least feels organic, in the sense that I can intuitively grasp each of the steps involved and how that leads to a stable endgame equilibrium (you are the last guy standing, the end.)

    Anyways. It's entirely possible I'm looking for a game that doesn't exist. But I will try to check out Colonisation at some point. </rant>
    Last edited by Carry2; 2012-10-10 at 10:42 AM.

  10. Top - End - #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Closet_Skeleton View Post
    Chivalry allows defensive pacts, not peace treaties (it would be really hard if you needed to wait 5000 years to work out how to make peace). Which does kind of make sense.

    Its banking that requires chivalry and the Knights Templar were pioneers in European banking. Banking is needed for economics, which is probably what you meant.
    You are correct. My point is that you need to detour through chivalry before economics is available.

    I might understand the requirement of chivalry for defence pacts in the sense of some kind of honour-code or contractual mandate, but the tech itself is explicitly tied to the development of horseback riding, of all things. Leaving aside 19th-century medieval-revivalist drivel, we all know that actual, period-authentic knights and samurai were no more or less honourable than any other contemporary thug-for-hire.
    I quite like playing new world nations and seeing how long I can go without inventing iron working. Usually up to the 15th century, which isn't too bad.

    Civ has a problem in general that its tech tree is based on Fertile Crescent and then European development and doesn't really work for America or China. The Holy Roman Empire (Germany/Italy) had a feudal period of knights and castles followed by a period of merchants and city states, so everyone has to invent knights and castles before banking.
    Yeah, this whole idea of a neccesary historical progression through the european middle ages is pretty ass-backwards. The European medieval period was a historical aberration- it emerged from a Dark Age when most technology actually regressed. It's like the Future Era tech tree had to recapitulate the tropes of the Fallout series before you were allowed to have power armour and super formers.

  11. Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Winthur's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    Well, I can't speak for how well they actually accomplished MP balance, but the official press statements before release seemed to indicate that was one of their priorities.
    Not at all:
    As it stands, Civ5 MP is horrible. Patches to fix it don't really go anywhere. Bear in mind that Civ had a pretty strong competitive multiplayer community since Civ2 Multiplayer Gold. And then Civ5 happened. It required a ton of patches to fix, and I'm still pretty sure it still causes people to froth at the mouth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2
    Again, I haven't actually played Civ 5 MP, so I couldn't comment on how well the pros and cons of various options and techs and structures have actually been balanced, but I can see that the effort was focused in that direction. (This is particularly clear in the case of Wonders, which have often struck me as monstrously unbalancing in earlier Civ games, but in Civ 5 seem to sport relatively tame benefits.)
    Wonders have never been that important in multiplayer Civilization games. They could speed up your tech or offer additional goodies, but you had to keep in mind that for every point of production you spent on a World Wonder, you aren't building an army or other infrastructure. Peaceniks in MP couldn't just spam wonders and buy peace with trade relations against a human player, they'd get crushed by Axemen. Of course it all depended on tactics, and if you scored the Oracle, or the Hanging Gardens, and the enemy didn't have counterplay, you would be ahead.

    Also, wonders from Civ4 aren't nearly as broken as the wonders from the earlier games. Civ4's Oxford University is a National Wonder that any Civ can buy. In Civ2 - there was only one Copernicus' Observatory or Isaac Newton's College for the entire game, and the AI doesn't really prioritize them over stuff as The Oracle. Getting both in one city allowed for ridiculous stuff like winning the Space Race by 1 AD. In Civ4, the most that wonders do is opening up some strategies - like it's hard to do Specialist Economy without the Pyramids and the Representation civic. Some of them are pretty bad (Chichen Itza), some of them offer ridiculous benefits for the AI (Statue of Zeus), and pretty much only the Apostolic Palace strikes me as broken. (Then again, it came with BtS, and I didn't like a lot of the changes that came with that expansion pack).

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2
    Oh, I don't have a problem with the idea of 'softer victories'- if anything, I'd prefer to prevail through channels of dialogue and constructive social progress. My problem is with how artificial it feels- victory through conquest at least feels organic, in the sense that I can intuitively grasp each of the steps involved and how that leads to a stable endgame equilibrium (you are the last guy standing, the end.)
    Back in Civ1 and 2 there was pretty much just Conquest (default warmonger victory) and Space Race (default peaceful victory). New victories, while offer options and allow for leveraging certain playstyles that would otherwise be weak, often have bad implementation connotations. They also allow for silly gameplay such as the awful Apostolic Palace victory in Beyond the Sword or the "backdoor domination" option inherent in the UN victory since Civ3.
    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2
    Anyways. It's entirely possible I'm looking for a game that doesn't exist. But I will try to check out Colonisation at some point. </rant>
    Do try Master of Orion or Master of Orion 2 as well, which I enjoy for their mix between a 4X game (on the big map screen) and for Heroes of Might & Magic-esque battles. They're also largely customizable.
    Last edited by Winthur; 2012-10-10 at 11:53 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Mordekaiser for president.

  12. Top - End - #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    As it stands, Civ5 MP is horrible. Patches to fix it don't really go anywhere. Bear in mind that Civ had a pretty strong competitive multiplayer community since Civ2 Multiplayer Gold. And then Civ5 happened. It required a ton of patches to fix, and I'm still pretty sure it still causes people to froth at the mouth.
    Hmm. Maybe I'm confusing this with Civ4, but previews like this one gave me the impression that streamlining MP was a continuing priority for the series. I could be wrong.
    Wonders have never been that important in multiplayer Civilization games. They could speed up your tech or offer additional goodies, but you had to keep in mind that for every point of production you spent on a World Wonder, you aren't building an army or other infrastructure. Peaceniks in MP couldn't just spam wonders and buy peace with trade relations against a human player, they'd get crushed by Axemen. Of course it all depended on tactics, and if you scored the Oracle, or the Hanging Gardens, and the enemy didn't have counterplay, you would be ahead.
    I dunno. Things like the Pyramids in Civ2 essentially doubling your population growth and never going obsolete struck me as the sort of thing that was basically too good to pass up, unless the map was small enough that you could Zerg your enemies early on. *shrugs* This is just conjecture, though.

  13. Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Winthur's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    Hmm. Maybe I'm confusing this with Civ4, but previews like this one gave me the impression that streamlining MP was a continuing priority for the series. I could be wrong.
    Well, there you have a gaming journalist that admitted to having only a single 2-hour long gaming session. Whereas the game on release had been so flawed it was unplayable. Even now, the stability doesn't allow for much more than 6 players, making 4v4 games or 8 man FFA a rare occasion.
    I dunno. Things like the Pyramids in Civ2 essentially doubling your population growth and never going obsolete struck me as the sort of thing that was basically too good to pass up, unless the map was small enough that you could Zerg your enemies early on. *shrugs* This is just conjecture, though.
    Building Wonders fast usually involved swarming a city with Caravans if you wanted to have it in a reasonable time. Really, you were lucky if your Pyramid cities weren't wiped out by a Monotheism-rushing player going gung-ho with Crusaders. Also, I was never really that impressed with Pyramids because I played on Deity and my cities had huge problems with getting past Size 1, so I had to prioritize Michelangelo's Chapel for instance. The game prefers players to do the Infinite City Sprawl and higher difficulties delay vertical growth quite a lot. Not having to pay for Granaries was nice though.
    Last edited by Winthur; 2012-10-10 at 12:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Mordekaiser for president.

  14. Top - End - #14
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Closet_Skeleton's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Ēast Seaxna rīc
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    Not at all:

    As it stands, Civ5 MP is horrible. Patches to fix it don't really go anywhere. Bear in mind that Civ had a pretty strong competitive multiplayer community since Civ2 Multiplayer Gold. And then Civ5 happened. It required a ton of patches to fix, and I'm still pretty sure it still causes people to froth at the mouth.
    Which is a pity because Civ5's military system really needs to be player vs player to be a challenge since all the AI can really do is rush you with units gotten from mercy gold and production.

    I really like how Civ5 does combined arms in the industrial era and beyond but going from city to city in a continent wide AI empire with a mere 2 machine guns, 2 cavalry 2 artillery shouldn't be easy when the game's military score is telling me that we have equally sized armies but I have 60% of my forces holding ground on another continent and 30% just garrisoning conquests.
    "that nighted, penguin-fringed abyss" - At The Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft

    When a man decides another's future behind his back, it is a conspiracy. When a god does it, it's destiny.


  15. Top - End - #15
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Well, anyhoo. My primary point here is that, regardless of the merits of later titles in the Civ series in terms of tactical balance and MP-catering, they're not really scratching my particular itch for a idiot's-guide-to-psychohistory. (I have even devoted an unhealthy amount of time to plausible explanations for psychic gestalt worm-minds. Umm... biologically generated decentralised wireless communications? Maybe planet pearls are like transmitters, or something...)

    It's good to rant! I actually feel better now.

  16. Top - End - #16
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Wait a second. Why is this person simultaneously complaining about Civ 5 not penalising empire expansion, and then complaining about how it does penalise expansion?

    EDIT: Decent review, though.
    Last edited by Carry2; 2012-10-10 at 01:56 PM.

  17. Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Winthur's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    Wait a second. Why is this person simultaneously complaining about Civ 5 not penalising empire expansion, and then complaining about how it does penalise expansion?
    Because the expansion penalty forces (or forced back then) you to pretty much play up to the same style every game - you expand, swarm map with cities, you lose out on certain possibilities completely but they're ultimately not very relevant to your victory. Basically, bad, streamlined gameplay.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Mordekaiser for president.

  18. Top - End - #18
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    So... is this a complaint that the penalties were there, or that the penalties weren't severe enough to matter? (I mean, the one-unit-per-tile restriction is something I found faintly silly, but I can understand things like roads costing gold for maintenance.)

  19. Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Part of the reason that cultural victories feel so odd is that the Civ series doesn't have any representation for the spread of culture beyond the borders of a civilization. There's boundary culture conflicts in Civ 4, but there's no way to reach any deeper without massive amounts of espionage.

    Ideally, a cultural victory would consist of making it so that most of the world identifies more with your culture than their own, even if they're still politically sovereign.

  20. Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    I really love the 1 unit/tile system, but I agree with Sulla when he says the map is just too small, or units are just too big.

    There should be a subdivision of "city hexes" into "military hexes". Make the map 3 times more maneuverable in 3 directions.

  21. Top - End - #21
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Maybe the reviewer's arguing that un/happiness mechanics make territorial expansion basically mandatory, while making other routes to victory non-viable? So that it doesn't make the game any harder, but forces you to play a certain grindy way?

    I think the danger or tradeoff associated with territorial expansion has always been that taking land is easy, but keeping it is hard: colonies and vassal-states tend to rebel if your relationship with them is exploitative, and given the costs associated with transport, logistics and communications over long distances, a non-exploitative relationship tends to be limited to (A) technologically inferior partners who can't defend themselves, (B) culturally homogenous neighbours, and/or (C) reciprocal exchange of low-bulk luxury items. If colonies and vassals gain access to your techs faster than they adopt your cultural identity, keeping control of them proves very difficult, particularly for non-autocratic governments. There are also examples of conquerors being culturally assimilated by the conquered, as happened to the Mongol-Chinese and the Norman-Irish.

    I also thought the idea of handling Culture as a tech tree was interesting, but perhaps the relationship between civic policies should be handled as a kind of cyclic graph structure instead of being strictly feed-forward, with both supportive and antagonistic relationships between concepts. It then becomes easier to 'research' related concepts and harder to adopt contradictory ones. (e.g, Pure Research could be related to both Human Experiment, Peer Review and Nature Conservation, but opposed to Practical Applications and Sacred Writ. Or Peer Review could be related to Free Speech, which leads to Democracy, which requires Civil Rights, which is incompatible with Human Experiment and The Police State. ...One can imagine Zakharov, Deirdre and Co. having an animated debate on the subject.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jothki View Post
    Part of the reason that cultural victories feel so odd is that the Civ series doesn't have any representation for the spread of culture beyond the borders of a civilization. There's boundary culture conflicts in Civ 4, but there's no way to reach any deeper without massive amounts of espionage.

    Ideally, a cultural victory would consist of making it so that most of the world identifies more with your culture than their own, even if they're still politically sovereign.
    That's exactly the kind of mechanism that I'd love to see. I also think it's closely related to the question of cost/benefit assessments for territorial expansion.

    If one accepts the notion of technologies being transmitted along lines of trade and migration, this actually gives you a natural mechanism for transmission of cultural influence: if culture is just another form of tech, then it can diffuse across national boundaries or across trade routes in a bit-by-bit way, and then you can rate how 'sympathetic' a given city is to you much as you'd rate affinity between leaders in SMAC or Civ4: recent historical grudges, religion and aesthetics, language and ethnicity, and shared social/political/economic policies. While this might not automatically lead to the city being politically annexed or assimilated, it would certainly make the job much easier. ...Of course, this cuts both ways.

  22. Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Well I'm nowhere near lucid enough to comment on that, but you've definitely made it sound interesting. Thanks!

    There are a couple of tangentially related things. In Crusader Kings, tech does travel along trade routes. Techs are properties of individual provinces, not their owners, though research happens at the capital. Techs spread to adjacent provinces and over specific sea routes. They spread faster in areas in the same realm, faster still under the same ruler, and the slowest between warring countries, plus they're affected by things like road networks and ruler stats.

    Victoria is crazy enough to have a culture tech tree, though it's strictly straightforward and mostly just gives prestige bonuses (prestige being the game's victory points and diplomatic firepower). It has some effects on other tech types: researching mid-19th century ideas about the role of the state allows bank inspection boards, an economy tech.

  23. Top - End - #23
    Troll in the Playground
     
    CarpeGuitarrem's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    At least you can let the computer auto-tech towards what you want. In Civ II, you had to record what led to what. In later games (I think it started with Civ III?), you could say "I want to have this tech", and the computer would auto-pick prerequisites.
    Ludicrus Gaming | My Steam Account
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph
    Unless everyone's been lying to me and the next bunch of episodes are The Great Divide II, The Great Divide III, Return to the Great Divide, and Bride of the Great Divide, in which case I hate you all and I'm never touching Avatar again.

  24. Top - End - #24
    Troll in the Playground
     
    mangosta71's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    here

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    I would expect at least some tech to pass faster between warring nations. Reverse engineering something found on the battlefield is a thing, so anything related to military power should be seen and stolen.
    Delightfully abrasive in more ways than one
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Mango:you sick, twisted bastard <3
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryffon View Post
    I think Krade is protesting the use of the word mad in in the phrase mad scientist as it promotes ambiguity. Are they angry? Are they crazy? Some of both? Not to mention, it also often connotates some degree of evilness. In the future we should be more careful to use proper classification.

    Mango is a dastardly irate unhinged scientist, for realz.

    Pirate Mongoose by Kwark_Pudding

  25. Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Winthur's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    At least you can let the computer auto-tech towards what you want. In Civ II, you had to record what led to what. In later games (I think it started with Civ III?), you could say "I want to have this tech", and the computer would auto-pick prerequisites.
    In Civ2, you could just pick a tech, use "Tree" command and it would tell you "You need to research Alphabet, Ceremonial Burial or Code of Laws" (for Monarchy, for example). There was also Civilopedia so it wasn't a big deal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Mordekaiser for president.

  26. Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    CarpeGuitarrem's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winthur View Post
    In Civ2, you could just pick a tech, use "Tree" command and it would tell you "You need to research Alphabet, Ceremonial Burial or Code of Laws" (for Monarchy, for example). There was also Civilopedia so it wasn't a big deal.
    That's true, though I found the auto-tech to be a vast improvement.
    Ludicrus Gaming | My Steam Account
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph
    Unless everyone's been lying to me and the next bunch of episodes are The Great Divide II, The Great Divide III, Return to the Great Divide, and Bride of the Great Divide, in which case I hate you all and I'm never touching Avatar again.

  27. Top - End - #27
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kizor View Post
    Well I'm nowhere near lucid enough to comment on that, but you've definitely made it sound interesting. Thanks!

    There are a couple of tangentially related things. In Crusader Kings, tech does travel along trade routes. Techs are properties of individual provinces, not their owners, though research happens at the capital. Techs spread to adjacent provinces and over specific sea routes. They spread faster in areas in the same realm, faster still under the same ruler, and the slowest between warring countries, plus they're affected by things like road networks and ruler stats.
    That's exaaactly the sort of thing I was looking for. I'll have to check that game out at some point now. Maybe Victoria, too.

    Another notion that I played with- since it appears Civ5 is definitely lacking in the AI department- would be that 'neccesity is the mother of invention'. i.e, that by default, cities would invest in the technologies and infrastructure that best satisfy their immediate, short-term demands (like food supply and city walls, or harbours and navigation in a coastal area.) More liberal forms of government could improve efficiency and life-satisfaction, or whatever, but it also means you only have a mild degree of control over what your citizens actually do, whereas a dictatorship stymies your economy, but gives you near-absolute power to override the AI.

    This actually plays nicely into some other potential play features, since if you abandon the idea of all-or-nothing control, you could have a situation of partial political influence over other states, or entering into a geopolitical alliance with other nations and forming a central council, where no single member has absolute power, but everyone gets a slice of the action. Or conceivably, you could keep on the leader of a defeated faction as an advisor or regional governor, where they get substantial influence over things like science research or military deployment (possibly in exchange for competency bonuses). This might make diplomatic victories seem a lot less forced, since there'd actually be a degree of meaningful compromise involved.

    Ooh. That gives me a notion- <procedural fanfic>
    Spoiler
    Show
    CEO Morgan: Ah, Santiago. I see that you place heavy emphasis on Ambition. I myself believe strongly in the importance of Pleasure, though this contradicts your belief in Austerity. Perhaps we can find common ground in Egoism?

    Colonel Santiago: Egoism contradicts Cohesion, which has been of vital importance to the well-being and military strength of my faction. You'll have to do better than that.

    CEO Morgan: But isn't Cohesion closely linked to Leadership, which benefits from having Propaganda Corps? Our own expertise in Subliminal Advertising could be invaluable to you.

    Colonel Santiago: Perhaps. Throw in your lot with me against the Believers, and I'll try things your way.

    CEO Morgan: Pleasure doing business.

    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    I would expect at least some tech to pass faster between warring nations. Reverse engineering something found on the battlefield is a thing, so anything related to military power should be seen and stolen.
    Agreed. I'm not sure it would actually pass faster, but there are definitely examples of enemy techs being copied going back to, say, the punic wars, if you can trust Polybius. I'd suggest this might become easier if you actually managed to win the battle, since that gives you parts to inspect/scavenge, and harder if the enemy tech is so far advanced as to be basically incomprehensible to you (say, more than 2 steps removed on the tree?)

  28. Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Closet_Skeleton's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Ēast Seaxna rīc
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    That's exaaactly the sort of thing I was looking for. I'll have to check that game out at some point now. Maybe Victoria, too.
    I wouldn't recommend Crusader Kings 2 or any Paradox game if you're interested in tech. CK2's tech is in three groups (military, economy, culture) which each contain eight techs that are rated 1-5. Getting higher up just gives small bonuses. Its pretty rare to play through a full 387 year game and even if you do it is literally possible to only go from average tech 1 to average tech 3. Some techs let you build more buildings, but after level 2 in those techs you can only unlock upgraded versions of older buildings.

    This is a game where if you want high tech then literally your main option is to somehow inherit Brugge before anyone builds anything there, save up for a 100 years, build four cities and then a university in each one and move your capital there. The other main way which only really works if you're spain or sicily is to conquer an adjacent arab county and make that your capital.

    EU3 has probably the worst tech system ever.

    Victoria 2 (and presumably Hearts of Iron) are much more about tech advancement.
    Last edited by Closet_Skeleton; 2012-10-12 at 06:36 AM.
    "that nighted, penguin-fringed abyss" - At The Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft

    When a man decides another's future behind his back, it is a conspiracy. When a god does it, it's destiny.


  29. Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    SW England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carry2 View Post
    I get that the Civ series has never really been able to take itself completely seriously (what with stone age George Washington presiding unchallenged for millennia on end),
    At least in Civ2 you never actually dealt directly with other leaders, so you could effectively ignore that, or assume the leader was either a personification of that nation (like Britannia, John Bull, Uncle Sam, etc), or the equivilent of an Eternal President, or that that civilization's rulers like reusing names (France got up to Charles X and Louis XVIII; Byzantium got up to Constantine XI; and for fictional examples, Caspian X of Narnia and Pteppicymon XXVIII of Djelibeybi).

    Civ2 in general also seemed to take itself more seriously than the later games (SMAC excepted). And apart from the Polytheism=elephants, didn't seem to have too much tech-tree sillyness. (Not like Civ4 Viking Berserkers requiring Civil Service, as though they need to fill out acquisition forms in triplicate before they can be issued their axes and rage-drugs).

  30. Top - End - #30
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Civilisation 5's tech tree vexes me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    At least in Civ2 you never actually dealt directly with other leaders, so you could effectively ignore that, or assume the leader was either a personification of that nation (like Britannia, John Bull, Uncle Sam, etc), or the equivilent of an Eternal President, or that that civilization's rulers like reusing names (France got up to Charles X and Louis XVIII; Byzantium got up to Constantine XI; and for fictional examples, Caspian X of Narnia and Pteppicymon XXVIII of Djelibeybi).
    Yeah. The monarchical PR department really seemed to like selling folks on sequels: "Charles 2: Son of Charles" or "Henry 8: The Adultering" or "Georgian, Part 3: What Colonies?"

    Seriously though, I'm more concerned with how the player him/herself is being represented in the game world, rather than the foreign rulers. What are you, exactly? Some kind of alien parasite or spiritual possession, hopping from host to host? (That would make for an interesting angle on religious techs, actually. Hmm.) SMAC has the advantage of genetic longevity treatments to explain all this away, though given that retroviral engineering is supposed to be a mid-to-late game tech... *sigh*, never mind.

    If I might be permitted another sojourn on a speculative tangent, one notion that occurs to me would be break down the game into several chunks of a human lifetime each: one for the stone age, one for the bronze/iron age, one for the renaissance/early-industrial-period, and one for the modern period and possibly an epilogue in the near future. (The question of how you'd maintain your position in a democratic admnistration with fixed terms still rears it's head, though.)

    *furrows brow*

    Y'know what else is wierd? Wonders. Oh, not the building of them per se (though it is wierd that you have to expend mineral resources on, e.g, The Art of War,) but that this uniquely obstructs other civilisations from getting them, ever. I think it might be more reasonable if the first civilisation to build, e.g, The Pyramids got a 50% productivity bonus for 30 turns, or something (similar to a Golden Age. Or maybe Wonders would be how you'd trigger Golden Ages? Or maybe they'd grant you a prestige bonus in diplomacy? *shrugs*)

    If you're treating Cultural traits as a form of tech research, maybe the non-material Wonders could be implemented in a similar fashion?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •